Gift Giving

Out of the Box Gift Giving 2019

This year I wanted to share some of my most favorite out-of-the-box gift-giving ideas!

I kind of pride myself on gifts that are not the run-of-the-mill ideas, so, why not share? I am including some of my most favorite things to gift, whether useful or just fun. And yes, these have affiliate links, I mean I have to Christmas shop too!

Last year when it was time to Christmas shop I was wholly convicted of overspending. I guess many of us are. Also, didn’t want to bombard my loved ones with… junk. Certainly, I don’t think I am alone in my feelings on this. And while some of the stuff from the dollar bin at Target is fine for this or that, and there is no point in getting too sentimental with a six-year-old.

But I did some handmade things, which of course I sell in my Etsy shop. For my oldest girls, I repurposed some of my mother-in-law’s pearls into new pieces of jewelry. Justin’s mom, Iris, had a basket full of jewelry that was either broken or out of date. More specifically she had the pearls she wore when she and Justin’s dad married.

I made bracelets for Maggie and Sophie out of the pearls.

For Luke, my Hippie son, that does wear a chakra bracelet, I used jade beads and some of Iris’ wooden beads from a necklace she wore regularly, to make a bracelet too. And when my Marine got married, and I did the flowers, and I was able to add some of Iris’ pearls to her bouquet.

I do love to make things as a way of gift-giving and expressing my adoration. But I believe it is a fine line, I mean, I did a collage painting as a wedding gift for my son and new daughter-in-law, and I included a card… “by no means do you HAVE to use this.” And I did this because I wanted to give it to them, but gift-giving really shouldn’t be a burden.

For me, it is the most fun to have unique and “out of the box” gift-giving ideas.

So at least you know… when it comes to out of the box, you can count on me! My most favorite gift ideas are still going to be either handmade, books, or somehow created. To this day the most precious gift I ever received was a writable recipe book from my aunt, Sue.

gift giving

Obviously, this was a gift I actually used!

gift giving

Mine is almost like a scrapbook!

Aunt Sue bought me a blank spiral recipe book and wrote her most favorite recipes in it. Some have since become faves of ours, especially her Chicken Casserole! Which you can find the recipe here. From there I have added my own recipes and other people’s too.


I had some recipe cards in my Grandma Mickey’s handwriting and I have used scrapbook glue to glue those inside of this most beloved gift. Because the original writing wasn’t acid-free it smudges a little over time, so I recommend this pen and glue.

Self Care Gift Recommendations

Sam and I have had real results with the use of this body butter from So Well. At first, I was worried that the salt would sting Sam’s fragile skin, it does not. He suffers from eczema. The worst spots were on the insides of his arms and behind his knees. I am not exaggerating when I say it has completely healed these one bloody itchy spots. I use it on my elbows, which are a purple hot wreck, without it. Needless to say, you will want to grab some of this during the cyber sale, before I buy it all up.

Sam even asks for this great body butter! Find it here! 

I also live and breathe, especially since my ovaries gave up the ghost, their hot/cold salt pack. I keep this in the freezer and it has been a LIFESAVER. And it works just as well when heated for aches and pains. We need more than one in this house as I have to have it for dreaded hot flashes and Justin uses it heated for his shoulder. Me cold one is off-limits. I love my people, but I cannot be hot.

Hot mama? Give the gift of coolness! Find it here!

And Sowell has wonderful other gifts for home and kitchen. There bowl salt lamp is one of my most favorite functional home accents. You can find it by clicking on the picture of mine below!

gift giving

These make great night lights for kids too! Find them here!

Gift Giving Books

If you have been reading me for long you know I am not that much of a reader. I listen to almost anything I “read” on audible. Which is a great gift idea! You can buy a subscription to audible by following the ad here.

Of the books I read and highly recommend (what? Yes, I wrote a couple of them,) I am including those links here:

Gift Giving for Moms

Gift Giving for Women


Might I recommend this book for all the gift-giving for teens? This is an important work by my friend Christine Carter.


And I am sooo excited to be gift-giving this book this year.

I think this is such a great book, I have it on audible. But this is a great book, a story behind the science! The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements is just now one of my favorite books. If you have a science lover or a science hater… this book is just brilliant!

Gift Giving for Herms Book Lovers!

And while this one is an oldie, I can’t convey how much I love this book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. For any creative in your life, this book is chocked full of humor, wisdom, and insight into the hearts and minds of the creative!

For all our must-have kids’ books, visit my post on our family favorites 31 MUST Have Favorite Bedtime Children’s Books here!

And speaking of children! Here are some of my favorite gift-giving ideas!

I love putting together gifts, so it isn’t just throwing this or that in a gift bag. One of my “go-to’” is plastic soldiers. And yes, I know, most kids are into anything electronic. But my boys love their “Box-O-Hero’s” and “Box-O-Dinosaurs.” I buy these little plastic totes and fill them with old-school treasures. I have also been known to fill the boxes with other treats and then label the boxes with the child’s name and what the box contains. Such as “Emma’s Art Supplies” or “Carter’s Cars.” This is a great gift to have on hand, and while I am linking Amazon, I have run into many dollar stores to fill up these boxes. Buyers note, make sure you measure correctly. On one mad dash, the box I grabbed was about a 1” too small for the paintbrushes. And as with any gift for kids, keep the mom in mind. Next to Legos, stepping on a brontosaurus is the worst. This gift is affordable and storable. I am linking the box I normally grab and several items I have been notorious for placing inside. Get those kiddos off their devices and back in their heads!


Click here for Etsy!

Happy Shopping!

And Jesus be all over you! Love, J

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  1. Kandy Chimento on December 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Redbubble link does not work for me!

  2. […] And my 2019 “Outside the Box Gift Giving Guide!” […]

  3. […] and I guess that was a no-no.  So at the last minute, I photoshopped their heads onto cupids.  Charlie will be 6 on Monday, Sam is 8.  When I did the first draft of their cards, I made […]

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